What is an astronaut?

The word astronaut comes from a Greek word 'astron nautes'. It means star sailor. Astronauts are people that have been trained to go on space expeditions. The training is very hard. If something goes wrong in space, there’s nobody around to help! Astronauts have to be trained for the force of the launch and for the lack of gravity once they are out in space.

Astronauts often train underwater in swimming pools here on Earth to simulate spacewalks.

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Facts about astronauts

  • Most astronauts grow two inches while they’re in space.
  • Astronaut suits cost around 9 million pounds! 
  • Astronauts see the sunrise every 90 minutes in space.
  • There’s no gravity in space so astronauts float around weightless.

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  • Animals travelled to space before humans. Dogs, monkeys, mice and even bees have been sent to space.
  • Alan Shepard was a famous astronaut known for hitting a golf ball while he was on the Moon.
  • There’s no night and day in space! Day and night exist on Earth when Earth orbits the Sun. Space crafts don’t orbit the Sun so there’s no night and day.
  • When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the Moon, around 600 million people were watching them on television. 
  • Almost every astronaut feels sick while in space.
  • The furthest an astronaut has travelled from Earth was 401,056 km aboard Apollo 13.
  • The edge of space is called the Karman line.